Shadowrun Play > Play-by-Post

Jialong Data Haven

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Chicago hadn't worked out how he had expected it to.

Tog had been sold on a few days kickin' it in Chi-Town while helping Jan "recover a couple of cyber-eyes customized for his HMMV infected brother". It would be a nice change of pace from the globe-trotting, save-the-world stakes of the past couple of years. He was even looking forward to slipping in some R&R on the side.

Instead it had turned into a series of fedex jobs for various small-change, low-life street types that were tangentially connected to Jan's target. "Mostly busy work" he had assessed until that nut in the CZ had put a 0.5 BMG round through his shoulder. Over the next few days shit rapidly devolved as it seemed like the team was finding bug and toxic shamans under every mother-fraggin rock and ghouls under all the others. Then to cap it off that slitch from his past turns up expecting a family-fucking-reunion. He still wasn't sure if he should dump her off the nearest pier or use her to set the hook. Fish, cut bait or hit the road, which way to go?

Whatever he settled on one thing had become clear, fuck Chi-Town.

It was another late night working tough leads.  BoldHound was flicking though all the old school paper records wile I had the job of watching old video clips on outdates video chips.  This was boring work but in the shadows this is what makes nebee runners into prose.  I had one advantage, with so much of me being cyberwar I never really got the feeling of frustration with made me preface to endless flic though video after video….…

There was no real reason for doing this but to see if anything popped up that may link to our current situation of being stuck as a play thing for the games of megercops.

I was nearly finished with the clips and was just getting to a file titled “documentary”, as I flick in waiting the neck video though my sucker eyes I got a jolt of recognition and a sense of some long lost emotions.  I was watching footage of my old mentor, the one that I first meet as he dragged me out from the roti between the cops mussel and the residence of Lambeth.  The site of him in the clip shocked me and I did not know why or how this had come to be playing out in Chicago of all places.

After the initial shock I continued to view my old mentor and key member of the Lambeth Martyrs………..  A memory flowed back of our time spent hiding away making plans together of  how to infiltrate Adams-Hoffmann and how to put a stop once and for all to the testing they where doing to the populace of Lambeth……..

Man this was unseal for me, I really lost my focus and the was important,  my shock increased as I saw flickering behind my eyelids my Mentor talking to a corp in a sure.  He talk some money or a small item from the guy………. just then the recognition software that had been running in the background flashed up the identity of the corp as being Saeder Krupp (Lofwyr) (Simon the Dragonoid’s employer)…… I jolted where I sat and had the sense of quickly scanning the other in the room, had that noticed.

I had found something but this was for me not the team, how to handle this what to do.  There was only one coshes open to me, finish watching the vids and see what els came up.  The rest of the clips showed that after receiving whatever it was from the corp figure my mentor went to a safe witch looked familiar as I watched and placed something inside.  The shot was at an angel but it was not heard to make out the code he put in,  I made a snap decision to quickly edit out the bit of the code and save to my personal file.

I continued to watch and saw him opening a door and I suddenly realised that this was just before he came in though that door to finalise plans with me for our bogies opp.  Memories of that discussion flashed before me and I realised that was the last time that I felt any real emotion.  Soon after that I was sent off shout for the cyberwere that would need to accomplish the wet-work planed in Tynesprawl……. that was infill now, I felt chock, fear and pain from the grand image of my mentor.  My identity was in question,  did my life as a runner start off as a plot for some other corp……..

What to do, I shared the info with the team (except the code) just to insure that If i need support they would be in the loop.

Jan sad that someone at the Valt was asking about the old vids, did they know something ?????

I rewatched the clip a few more times and was able to pice tother 3 key facts

>> My mentor was clearly talking with a Corp figure head of Saderkrupp and shaking hands. A Johnson maybe? Either way they weren’t yelling or going at it which is odd for a martyr.

>> After their cordial conversation my mentor our opens a safe code 1529 and puts something in there.

>> The video stops when he would then open on your door to talk with you.

I remembered my last meeting was at a building overlooking the Squeeze across the river, it was in a three story apartment complex on the outside.  It was a front for the Lambeth Martyrs and was primary used as a staging area for getting people in and out of the Squeeze.

I then mad my mind up then and there that I will have to be carful but I needed to find out what is in that safe and most importantly see if my life has been built on a lie……………

nice post +1 karma!

Jan Schaefer:
It was pretty far from the most restful night Jan ever had.   It should have been the sleep of the just:  Jan’s friends had showed up in force, and with one exception, backed him to the hilt as he chased down Rudi’s ticket to freedom. 

 Olof and the boat met him in Germany and they  picked up Icenark on the way.  Ice looked amazing:  20 years younger, and not as lean and gaunt as he had been towards the end of their time in the Southern hemisphere.
Tog and Bloodhound joined in New York, and Tog was more mentally together than he had been in a good while.  He denied that the torture and horror of the cult campaign unsettled his brain, but Jan knew what PTSD looked like, and it looked like Tog two months prior.  Bloodhound was his old imperturbable self, wisecracking and watching his drones like he expected them at any time to start conjuring spirits or writing poetry. 
Jiao couldn’t make it, doubtless chasing Elven tail in Tir Na Nog, even though she denied that the mission was anything that mundane or selfish.  “She never did get over that Japanelf street sam with his fancy moves with his, um, sword”, Jan thinks.

And even though they had fought bugs, dogs, radiation spirits, a wendigo (what the hell is a wendigo?), had run from cyberzombies, replaced 8 pints of Tog’s blood when he was shot in the back twice on two successive days, and eaten way too much deep dish pizza, they triumphed.  Everyone showered for three hours straight to get the stink of the toxic shaman’s lair off, but come off it did, eventually.  The team left behind some solid friendships:
    * Angel the ghoul entrepreneur,
    * Dr. Tate and his newly upgraded cybersurgery,
    * The talismongers Lothan and Kirsch,
    * The cynical detective Nick Ryder,
    * Sam the technomancer (admittedly, she was likely to disappear in to Ares, or at least Los Angeles, and it seemed unlikely that the team would ever go there again,)
    * Quantum Princess thought the team was somewhere between competent and fantastic depending on the job,
    * And last but not least, the CZ gypsy cab company has the team marked as a  “reliable business partner.   

On the corp side, they had burned bridges more thoroughly than ever before with Renraku, but Tog’s file was now marked “closed for good” (or so the team thought….)
    * The team had intel on Aztechnology and Ding Ramos trying to muscle in on the Chicago Beautification project, and hated the Azzies enough to at least consider outing this fact to MCT. 
    * One interesting conversation with Gracie Junior made them think that there just might be a way to get a mole into Ramos’ HQ.
    * Maggie the up-and-coming Mitsuhama Johnson owed them bigtime.
    * Silverleaf was humiliated, and hopefully Lothan would make her eat shit from his lofty throne inside an anonymous bar.
    * Ares might actually pay back BH’s favor recovering his old teammates’ gear from the CZ.

 With the money the team earned doing side jobs, the upgrades to His Dark Mistress were going nicely- Tog had contacts in Carribea that would be glad to turn the rich man’s toy into a regular Q ship, bristling with hidden defenses above and below the waterline.  And the new labs would perfectly complement many future acts of deception and skulduggery.  It should have been a clean exit.  But of course, fate conspired to make the trip out of town a little too exciting. 

Despite the thoroughness of Tog’s attempt to intimidate his “mother”, it was clear that Renraku was game for risking  one last try to recover their long-gone Mission Impossible asset.   Who else would have the guts and money to fin ance an air pirate Zeppelin and chase us down on the open water of the Great Lakes in January?  Flying a lighter-than-air through sleet was sheer folly, but Renraku’s team did a superb job of sneaking up to HDM and boarding it in the dead of night- their stealth equipment completely fooled Tog’s inexpert eyeballs.  The footage, reviewed later, showed suspiciously identical “cloud patterns” from all different angles that the surveillance drones filmed… a dead giveaway that Ruthenium Polymers were at work.   Before anyone on the team had even a second to grab their guns or gear, the invaders were aboard and had their hands practically at Jan’s throat.   Smoke was billowing through a massive hole on the foredeck, the aft deck was swarming with drones, and there were intruders inside our computer, both in meat space and the Matrix.  It wasn’t looking good for the good guys. 

The next six seconds may have been Jan’s finest hour.  Some combination of luck, intuition, years of surviving on the streets, and incredible willpower kept him dancing, rolling and weaving as three highly trained agents sought to subdue him.  Bullets couldn’t touch him, nor could the mage’s spells or the oge’s hairy arms.  Nothing less than an HE grenade at point blank could pin him down.  His desperate evasions bought enough time for Olof to KO the enemy mage and for Tog to lacerate the ogre into unconciousness with two swift and brutal strokes.  When Ice armored up and brought his rifle to the top deck and Olof and Tog turned their attention to the rest of the Renraku squad, and when Bloodhound stopped their hacking job cold after they were sure they were in, it was over.  And the all-orc squad of deniable assets knew it. 

Almost at the same instant, they slagged all their electronics, and the two agents who were still concious and able to suicide did so.  Hardcore Bushido.  They may not have had the muscle to subdue a slippery, squealing, naked dwarf, but they definitely had the discipline to cover their tracks and terminate their incursion with a bang.  If their adept had been as savvy as the demolitionist at placing his armload of grenades, the ship would surely have sunk as they clearly intended, taking their mark, their agents, and the rest of the team to the bottom.  Dead men tell no tales from Davy Jones’ Locker, and all those other trite cliches.  But it was not to be- after the smoke cleared, the boat was still afloat.

Not a single team member died, at least not permanently.  Jan’s medkit printed a grim ekg hardcopy of of the twelve seconds where his heart was not pumping, but at this point, Jan can hardly tell a near-death experience from a trip to the Stuffer Shack for a watery American pilsner.  Is that a light at the end of the tunnel?  A noizquito with its strobe improperly synched to the Tacnet?  A fire spirit conjured by Ho Fong, a shedim emerging from an impossible spacetime rift, an imp returning from the far astral to make its home once again in his favorite focus?  No, actually, just the “ready” light on the microwave.  Time to eat your General Soy’s Chikin flavored Cup o Noodles, count your blessings, and walk it off. 

On the smoking, bloody deck of the pleasure yacht.  Just another Shadowrun in Chicago. 

nice post +1 karma ;-)


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